I love strolling around bookstores, checking out new releases, picking up a few and nestling myself in a corner to read a few pages or the entire book. No matter what section I’m browsing through, my feet inevitably carry me to the self-help books. As I read the pages of some of these books, the theme of living a life of purpose is a recurring one.
Although I share the views, and admire, many of these authors, I am sometimes left wondering, if I was a beginner at all of this self-help stuff, how would I begin to know what living a life of purpose is? How would I go about finding my own purpose, without turning my life upside down?
I understand that feeling.
Finding your purpose may not be as complicated as you think and you may not have to look as far, as you think. Your purpose can actually be right under your nose. It seems that sometimes, metaphysical concepts get overcomplicated and thus become intimidating to the newly initiated.
So let’s bring it back to a plain explanation we can all understand.
What does it mean to find your purpose? What does it mean to live a life of purpose?
A little side note before we continue on. In speaking about metaphysics, I like to use the term God. If you feel more comfortable to use the term Spirit or Universe or Higher Power, I encourage you to do so. By no means am I trying to push a certain way of thinking on you. I actually want the opposite: for you to understand and develop your own views of these concepts. I also refer to God as “he”. Again, that’s just what feels right for me, but if you’re feeling the goddess power, please refer to it as “her”. This is all about your journey and what feels right for you.
Good. Now let’s go back to the concept of purpose.
In laymen terms, finding your purpose means finding the unique gift God gave you. The reason you were created in the first place. The reason you are here, on earth, at this exact time in history. Your purpose is the gift only you have and can share with the world.
Therefore living a life of purpose means living a life that is aligned with your divine gift. A life where you get to share your unique gift with others on a regular basis.
If you think you need to quit your current job or shift your entire life around to live a life of purpose, I’d encourage you to take a closer look at what is already in your life and how your unique gift can be expressed within your current setting. I’m not saying you shouldn’t quit your job or shift your entire life around if that’s what you feel you need to do. I’m just saying, take a moment to look at what’s in front of you before wishing for an overhaul.
Let me explain what I mean with these examples.
Meet my mother-in-law Mary.
Mary is the store manager of a beautiful furniture, décor and accessories store in the West Island of Montreal. The way she goes about her work, the care she has for her employees and the pride she takes in her store, you’d think she’s the owner. She’s also a heck of a saleswoman.
That’s Mary’s talent. She’s an amazing manager. Her meticulous ways and organizational skills enhance that talent.
But that’s not her gift.
Her gift is to be an good listener. That’s right. Her unique gift is to listen.
When a person walks into the store, Mary always asks how their day is going and then she will listen to the answer. She will listen to whatever that person has to say. Often times, that simple gesture of listening, will lead that person to openly confide in her.
You may be wondering why a perfect stranger would confide in the store manager. But that’s Mary’s gift. When she looks at her client and asks “how are you”, that person feels they are listened to. Intentionally listened to. And this is not a sales tactic. At that moment, Mary is only focused on that person.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve stopped by that store for a quick hello and someone was either hugging Mary or holding her hands.
Listening to others is Mary’s unique gift. And because she is utilizing her gift, she is living her purpose. By living out her purpose everyday, Mary is not only of service to others, but she is also of service to herself. She is of service to herself because practising her gift everyday allows her to feel alive, to feel meaningful, to feel helpful.
Living out her purpose allows her to root her life in profound joy.
See, her purpose is not fulfilled by her actual job as a store manager. Being a store manager is a demanding job and parts of it are not fun. But her true purpose is fulfilled by what her job gives her and allows her to do everyday: listen to others.
Let me give you another example.
Meet my dear friend Kamilla.
Kamilla is a phenomenal makeup artist. I’m not just saying that because she’s my friend. She truly is that good. With the stroke of her brushes and an orchestrated marriage of colours, she creates beauty. Stunning beauty. She is, a true artist. You can check out her work here and here.
That’s her talent. To create artistry through makeup. But that’s not her gift.
Kamilla is one of the most positive and optimistic person I know. She lives her life on a higher vibrational level.
And that’s her gift. Her positivity, her radiance, is her unique gift from God.
When Kamilla works with a client, it is no longer about the colours and the brushes. It’s about sharing her higher frequency. It’s about inviting that other person into her energetic field and communicating, transferring, that positive frequency to her client.
By doing so, Kamilla is able to bring the inner beauty out of her clients and give them an experience of wellbeing that goes beyond their makeup.
That is her gift. That is how she lives out her purpose everyday. Her purpose is not her job as a makeup artist. It is not the brushes, the bronzer or the blush. Those are the tools that allow her to share her gift. That allow her to live a life of purpose.
By connecting with another person on a positive and higher level, Kamilla not only brings out the inner beauty in others but she brings out her own inner beauty. It’s an exchange of energy. By sharing her gift with others, Kamilla gets to live a life of fulfillment, a life of inner bliss.
That bliss is what I want for you. That is what I want you to find for yourself.
In the second part of this series, I will breakdown the two part exercise I encourage you to practise for few minutes everyday, to find your own unique gift, your own unique purpose in life.
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Photo credit: Cristina Marrone